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La Bamba Movie Party

TALENT MADE HIM A STAR, FATE MADE HIM A LEGEND.

The biographical story chronicling the brief life of Ritchie Valens, a rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, whose eight-month career ended after he died in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. Lou Diamond Phillips, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for his lead performance, stars as Valens.

Director Luis Valdez infuses the film with a sentimentality, ultimately stopping short of putting Valens up for sainthood. In the hands of a lesser actor, Valens could have come off as bland and uninspiring; Phillips, however, gives his Valens a humanizing level of sincerity that helps his character leap off the screen.

Keep an eye out for the smaller moments in the film — it shines when it shows everyday life: interactions between mother and son, siblings who both duel for attention, but also deeply love each other. These moments, more than the concert scenes that cover his rocket-rise to fame, bring a rich humanity to the life of Ritchie Valens.

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